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Celebrating your kindness and generosity in 2016 A · PDF file I think of more than 2,000 lives for whom miracles happened Josephine Brucculeri serves up tasty, hot turkey gravy at

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    Dear Friends

    As I write to you it is soon after we were whisked into 2017. It is a quiet time at work around our community. I find this time a great opportunity to jot down my thoughts, reminisce about the year gone by and catch my breath after the busy Christmas Season.

    It was a season that saw us reach out to thousands of men, women and children who were able to celebrate because of the generosity of time, talents and resources that you so willingly gave to make the miracles of Christmas happen here at Good Shepherd.

    It is time to celebrate and count our blessings for being able to reach out and touch the lives of so many vulnerable people in 2016. Whether it was welcoming a refugee family fleeing violence and abuse in South America; helping a woman move from her camp in a neighbourhood park into a place where she could feel safe and secure; or bidding goodbye to co-workers who passed away, knowing full well that there will always be an emptiness in our hearts for their laughter and wit. These are just some of the gifts I received this past year.

    I think of the volunteers who helped out the shoppers in our Christmas Market Place, and the donors who sponsored a family or remembered us when they were doing their own grocery shopping and bought a little extra to share with our neighbours in need.

    I remember the countless volunteers who helped out at the Venture Centre to sort food and gifts, stock shelves and welcome guests to the Market Place.

    I think of more than 2,000 lives for whom miracles happened

    Josephine Brucculeri serves up tasty, hot turkey gravy at Christmas Wonderland in December. More than 800 volunteers descended on the Hamilton Convention Centre to help serve a Christmas feast to 2,000 members of our community. Good Shepherd is privileged to be able to count on the generosity and skills of more than 5,000 volunteers every year.

    Celebrating your kindness and generosity in 2016

    Continued on Page 2 ...

    Winter 2017

  • at the Hamilton Convention Centre where families and individuals feasted and played at Good Shepherd’s annual Christmas Wonderland.

    For all these things I am both grateful and humbled. Grateful for your generosity that keeps this ministry of Never Stop Loving going and humbled by the trust you put in us to be stewards of your gifts to those in need.

    In 2017, I want us all to be aware of our privilege in life – and be fully aware of our own blessings and vulnerabilities which have been given to us and enable us to help others.

    My prayer for you in 2017 is a paraphrase of St. Francis of Assisi:

    May God make you an instrument of peace. Where there is hatred, sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where

    there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

    O, Divine Creator, grant that you seek not to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; for it is in giving that you will receive; it is in pardoning that you are pardoned; and it is in dying

    that you will be born again to eternal life.

    May you have a Blessed and Holy New Year,

    §¨© OH Brother Richard MacPhee, OH Executive Director

    ... Continued from Page 1

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    Our blessings and vulnerabilities enable us to help others

    A campaign begun by a local writer has struck a chord in the community. Denise Davy, who helped supply Good Shepherd Women’s Services with feminine hygiene products, started a movement that spread across our region. Her initiative, which she named Purses for Margaret as a tribute to a homeless woman she met as a reporter, collected handbags filled with toiletries, hygeine products and cosmetics.

    After word of Denise’s initiative spread, Good Shepherd started receiving donations of purses filled with necessities for women.

    Numerous groups and individuals took up the challenge, includ- ing Whitney McMeekin, owner of Girl on the Wing, and her friend Rachelle who donated “Femnecessity” gift packages filled with personal care items to clients at Women’s Services.

    Purses for Margaret began with Women’s Services and soon other Good Shepherd programs began to benefit.

    At Good Shepherd, co-workers also got into the spirit. Brenda Zsiros, a property manager, said she was inspired by Purses for Margaret to help young women at Youth Services.

    “It touched my heart and I came to work the next day and chal- lenged my co-workers to donate a purse for Youth Services filled with hygiene products, tooth paste, hair brushes, gloves – anything that a young woman could use,” she says. “Then I challenged fam- ily and friends to do the same. My goal was 20. I collected 54 plus two boxes filled with razors, soaps, shampoo and hair conditioner.”

    It shows how one person’s kindness can motivate an entire city.

    Brenda Zsiros (front) with some of the 54 purses she collected for Youth Services. With her are (from left) Youth Services Director Loretta Hill- Finamore, Norma Joaquim and Sheena Barnett.

    Purses for Margaret triggers acts of kindness toward women throughout the city


  • Hunger is more than a gnawing, empty pain in the pit of the stomach. It’s a thief that steals a person’s dignity and assaults their humanity. Two people from very different backgrounds have stepped forward to help Good Shepherd stamp out hunger and re- store hope and dignity to neighbours in need.

    Marc is a retired businessman who lives with his wife in Burlington. Motivated by a strong faith and gratitude for his suc- cess and good fortune, he feels a sense of duty to help those in need.

    After reading an article in his church bulle- tin about a shortage of food at the Good Shepherd Venture Centre, Marc knew he had to act.

    “It was really a no-brainer,” he says. “For people who can afford it, there is no greater charity than to feed the hungry. If you don’t have anything to eat or clothes to wear, that’s about as bad as it gets.”

    In December, 2016, Marc called Cathy Wellwood, Good Shepherd’s chief development officer, and offered to make a monthly donation of $1,000 over the next five years to support the purchase of food for clients of the Venture Centre Market Place.

    Marc is quick to acknowledge that making this type of financial commitment is not for everyone and values the contributions made by people who donate food or volunteer their time at the Centre. But he’s encouraging at least 10 people or corporations who have the resources to step up and donate $1,000 to support the Venture Centre.

    “If you’ve been blessed and you’ve done very well finan- cially, I encourage you to make a commitment to the Good Shepherd and let’s stamp out the hunger problem in this region,” he says. Lori, a small business owner from Oakville, has found a distinctive way to help the hungry and honour a family tradition. Raised in what she calls a “typical Italo-

    Canadian home,” faith and family have always been the focal point of her life. Last August, while driving along Cannon Street East in Hamilton, Lori spotted the Venture Centre. She remembered reading about Good Shepherd and decided to drop in. “I went in and asked one of the staff how I could make a do-

    nation to provide a hot meal at the men’s shel- ter,” remembers Lori. “I was told to go across the street to The Good Shepherd Centre, where I met Brother Nick and explained what I wanted to do.” Not only did Lori do- nate $300 to offset the cost of providing an evening meal, she do-

    nated her time to help prepare and serve it. She says it was an eye-opening experience.

    “We sometimes have preconceived notions about people in homeless shelters. The people I saw that night could have been sitting next to me in church.” The experience was so rewarding that Lori decided to pro- vide a meal at the Centre on January 17 to celebrate the feast day of her family’s patron saint, St. Anthony Abbot. She wanted the meal to be special and asked how much it would cost to “upgrade” the menu. For an additional $200, Lori’s St. Anthony Abbot Feast Day menu included a quar- ter chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, corn and gravy. Lori plans to make the St. Anthony Abbot’s Feast Day meal at The Good Shepherd Centre an annual tradition.

    “So many times when we donate, we don’t know where the money goes, but I know where my donation went – it went on the dinner plates. And I didn’t just see it with my eyes, I felt it in my heart. I would encourage everyone to experi- ence the joy of giving this way.”

    Stepping up to stamp out hunger


    In 2015-16 ...

    Good Shepherd’s Venture Centre Market Place

    provided emergency food & clothing to 66,900 people

    We served more than 97,000 hot meals at The Good Shepherd Centre

  • Christmas is always a busy and joyous time around Good Shepherd. Here is a small snapshot of the events and dona